Exposed Tree Roots: Practical Tips for a Healthy Landscape

Trees are often the most valuable asset in your landscape. Tree roots usually grow just below the soil. However, sometimes we encounter a common problem: exposed tree roots. These unsightly roots can be a tripping hazard and disrupt the aesthetics of your outdoor space. In this guide, we will explore simple and practical solutions to help you deal with exposed tree roots and restore the beauty of your yard.

Exposed tree roots occur when the soil erodes or the top layer of soil is washed away. This can happen due to heavy rainfall, poor drainage, or even natural soil erosion. It’s essential to address this issue promptly to avoid potential accidents and maintain a visually appealing landscape.

The best way to treat this issue is to create a layer of mulch around the affected areas.

Mulch acts as a protective barrier, helping to retain moisture, regulate soil temperature, and prevent further erosion. Apply a 2-4 inch layer of organic mulch, such as wood chips or shredded bark, around the tree’s base, leaving a gap around the trunk to prevent moisture buildup.
This alone will solve most of the issues.

Another solution that works well is to plant ground covers. Ground covers hide the exposed roots while adding beauty and functionality to your yard. Select low-growing plants that can withstand shade or low sunlight. This will vary depending on the tree’s canopy. Ground covers like periwinkle, ivy, or hostas can help control erosion, provide a lush ground cover, and enhance the area’s overall appeal.

Be cautious about coving the tree roots with soil. One primary reason tree roots are exposed is to find oxygen. The soil may be clay and stays too wet, so the tree roots surface for oxygen. Tree roots need oxygen, and dumping a load of soil on them may just cut the oxygen.

Finally, when dealing with severe root exposure or if you are still determining the best course of action, it is wise to seek professional advice. An arborist can assess the tree’s health, suggest appropriate solutions, and help mitigate any potential risks associated with the exposed roots. They have the expertise to handle complex root issues while ensuring the tree’s long-term health.

Don’t let exposed tree roots ruin the beauty of your yard. With the solutions discussed in this guide, you can regain control over your landscape and create an inviting outdoor space. Remember to implement preventative measures and consult professionals when needed. By addressing the issue of exposed tree roots, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a visually appealing and safe yard for years to come.


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2 Responses

  1. Just a reminder you can prevent surface roots (at early stages of tree growth) by watering deeply and infrequently. If water is applied shallow (top 6″ of soil, for example, like trees in grass) tree roots will be shallow as well.

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